Photograph courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Olive Ridley Turtle – Photograph courtesy: Claudio Giovenzana/ Wikimedia Commons

Maharashtra is home to part of the stunning Western Ghats which means there is no dearth of beautiful monsoon destinations in the state. However, there are some places in the state which are not your usual holiday spots. Ideal for those who do not like cliched holiday spots, these offbeat destinations in Maharashtra make for exciting getaways away from the tourist crowds and urban pollution and fast pace of life. One such offbeat holiday spot in Maharashtra is Velas, s small fishing village in the picturesque Ratnagiri district of the state. Located at a distance of 220 km from Mumbai, Velas is worth a visit mainly for two things – its pristine beach and the Olive Ridley turtles that visit its shore. Around the year 2000, it was discovered that Olive Ridley turtles are frequent visitors to the shores of the Velas beach. The turtles, who are known to have the most amazing nesting habits in the world, come to Velas to lay their eggs. It can be quite a memorable sight to witness the turtle hatchlings freshly out of their nests making their way to the Arabian Sea. Apart from the turtles, the scenic beauty surrounding Velas too is a reason to visit this wonderful village on the western coast of India. The SNM and Kasav Mitra Mandal (KMM), a local body in Velas, organize a Turtle Festival every year during the period of February – March. This is the best time to visit Velas. (CHECK OUT Velas Turtle Festival – A leisurely affair along the sandy beaches) Here are all the details on how to reach Velas. Also Read - To Catch Newborn Olive Ridley Turtles in Action, Head to Anjarle Beach

How to reach Velas by road

Velas is located in Maharashtra’s Ratnagiri district at a distance of around 215 km from Mumbai. You can reach Velas via NH-17 which is the Mumbai-Goa highway. A right turn from Goregaon takes you straight to Velas. The total drive should take close to 5 hours and 30 minutes. Also Read - Head to Velas to Catch The Olive Ridley Turtles in Action

How to reach Velas by train

The nearest railhead to Velas is Chiplun. Several private vehicles are available for hire to reach Velas from Chiplun. The distance from Chiplun Railway Station to Velas is 107 km and takes 2 hours and 50 minutes to reach by road. Also Read - Odisha govt prepares plan for nesting of Olive Ridley Turtles

Photograph: Maharashtra Tourism

Photograph: Maharashtra Tourism

How to reach Velas by air

If you wish to fly down, Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji airport is your best bet. You can drive down from Mumbai to Velas via NH-17 as mentioned above.

So, next time you are looking for an offbeat holiday in Maharashtra around February-March, try Velas in Ratnagiri. It will be a trip worth remembering.

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